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72-year-old man in Nepal declared world's smallest person

Nepal's Chandra Bahadur Dangi is given a certificate by Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glanday, after being declared the world's shortest living man and shortest man ever by the Guinness Book of Records, at a ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. The 72-year-old man was measured at just 21.5 inches (54.6 centimeters) tall has been declared the shortest person to be recorded by the Guinness World Records snatching the title from Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall. (Niranjan Shrestha)

February 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A 72-year-old man in Nepal has been declared the world's shortest person on record.

Chandra Bahadur Dangi officially measures in at 21.5 inches, about the size of a toddler. Guinness World Records officials confirmed his height Sunday and presented Dangi with two certificates for being the world's shortest living man and the world's shortest person recorded in Guinness' 57-year history.

"I am very happy. Now I want to travel across Nepal and to foreign countries," Dangi told reporters. He also said he has no desire to get married or have a family, but would like to meet the prime minister of Nepal soon.

Dangi had never seen a doctor until his height was measured Sunday. According to relatives, he has never had any serious injuries or illnesses. Dangi has five brothers, all of average height. His family is not sure why Dangi stopped growing.

Because of his size, Dangi has been confined to household work and has never worked outside his home, located in the remote mountain village of Rhimkholi. He has a normal sized head and regularly shaves, but his body is small. He is able to walk and climb small stairs. He eats mainly rice and vegetables, and occasionally meat, but in small portions.

Dangi takes the shortest man record from Junrey Balawing of the Philippines, who is 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall. He also beat the record of Gul Mohammed of India as the shortest adult human to have their height verified by Guinness. Mohammed, who died in 1997, was 22.5 inches (57 centimeters) tall.

The Associated Press contributed to this repot.